Maimonides, Rabbi Moses (1135–1204)
A great Spanish-Hebrew philosopher, theologian, and author
of the Guide for the Perplexed. His theories were Aristotelian
and rational, but there remained in his viewpoint a touch of
He was born April 6, 1135, in Cordova, southern Spain, and
was educated by Arabic teachers. After the Moorish conquest of
Cordova in 1148, Jews left the province, and Maimonides settled
in Fez, Morroco. After five years he moved to Cairo, Egypt,
where he became physician to Saladin and married the sister
of Ibn Mali, a royal secretary.
In his famous treatise, the Guide for the Perplexed, he sought
to harmonize rabbinical and philosophical teachings but maintained
that reason must be supplemented by revelation. His
treatise profoundly influenced his Arabic, Jewish, and Christian
successors. It has been suggested that Maimonides was
sympathetic to the teachings of Kabala in his late period. He
died December 13, 1204.